Are you wondering what the most important steps are to a proper skincare routine? Maybe you’re not sure which skin-care products are right for your skin.
The best steps to a healthy skin-care routine don’t just come in a bottle. The most essential steps of skincare are based on the principles of healthy living that encompass eating healthy food, engaging in regular exercise, practicing stress management and having sufficient sleep.
Here are the most important steps in any effective skincare routine:
9 Important Steps in an Effective Skin-Care Routine that Produce Excellent Results
1) Exercise Regularly
Whenever you exercise, it increases blood flow to the skin and promotes perspiring. This process helps to flush out waste products and dead cells from the skin. Think of this as cleansing your skin from the inside.
What’s more, improved oxygenation through the increased blood flow imparts a healthy glow to the skin. Exertion of the body boosts the production of collagen, a protein that reduces the appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines.
2) Adhere to a Healthy Diet
You will be able to see the results of healthy eating on your skin. When you consume a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you are replenishing your skin with important nutrients that result in a glowing complexion.
There is some medical research that indicates a diet rich in fish or fish oil supplements, but low in saturated fats, trans fat, and processed carbohydrates, could make your skin look younger.
Drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water will ensure your skin is hydrated, supple, and soft.
3) Manage Stress
When your body is under immense stress, it leaves it susceptible to skin problems such as rosacea and acne. Your skin becomes more sensitive during bouts of uncontrolled stress. Medical research tells us that stress can prompt the production of stress hormones, which can increase the production of sebum and wreak havoc on your skin.
In fact, a high level of stress can make your skin look dull and lifeless.
It is in the best interest of your skin health to manage your stress levels.
4) Cleanse Your Skin
Face cleansing is one of the most important steps in a skin-care routine. It clears away impurities and excess oil that clog pores and dull skin. However, you want to be careful not to cleanse more than necessary, or with a cleanser that is too harsh for your skin.
Good quality cleansers will gently cleanse your skin, but not strip it of healthy oils.
“A good sulfate and soap-free cleanser for the face will be pH-balanced and gentle to maintain the skin’s barrier without stripping,” says Whitney Bowe, M.D., a New York City dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin.
Here are some recommendations for what types of cleansers work best on certain types of skin, including yours.
You will want a cream or balm formula with hydrating ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and botanical oils.
The best cleansing agent for people with oily skin is a foaming or gel cleanser that will remove excess dirt and oil from your skin. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid niacinamide, which can both assist in regulating and removing excess oil.
If you have sensitive skin, try micellar water, which is an extremely gentle cleanser that includes small particles called micelles that trap impurities and lift them off your skin. But they won’t dry your skin in the process.
You will need a foaming cleanser with acne-fighting ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, sulfur or benzoyl peroxide.
5) Apply Moisturizer
Face moisturizers keep your skin soft and hydrated. They also strengthen its barrier. For those of you who have oily or acne-prone skin, try lighter moisturizers during the day. Examples of this would be a lotion or gel that will absorb quickly and will not pill your makeup. If you have drier skin, consider a thicker formula, like a cream.
Dermatologists suggest moisturizers for all skin types, as hydrating is vital to keeping your skin youthful and healthy. It is best to seek out ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides. These ingredients are the building blocks of moisture retention in skin.
6) Use Toner
A toner is a water-based skin-care liquid that is applied to dry skin after face cleansing. You can use a cotton ball or a cloth. But use toner prior to using other leave-on skin-care treatments such as serums and moisturizers. By using a toner, it will help ensure your skin is completely clean and wipe away any residual debris, while giving it an extra amount of active ingredients.
Fortunately for our skin, toners are now much more advanced than the drying alcohol and stringent-based formulas of many years ago. They offer skin-boosting benefits that can result in a glowing complexion.
Depending on your skin type, here are the ingredients your toner should contain:
For oily skin, seek out astringents like witch hazel or alcohols that are designed to tighten pores.
For dry skin, look for a hydrating toner with ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid that will soothe your skin. These toners also work well for people with sensitive skin.
For acne-prone skin, you will want a toner with hydroxy acids, which include lactic acid and salicylic acid. Both of these ingredients are designed to increase cell turnover.
For combination skin, look for gentle exfoliants, hydration boosters and antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and green tea, which attacks free radicals and prevents damage to the skin.
7) Apply Serum
Serum delivers concentrated amounts of powerful ingredients that are able to address various complexion issues that include dark spots and wrinkles. You can use a few different serum formulas if you have numerous skin issues to contend with.
One particular serum that is highly recommended is an antioxidant serum, which prevents the development of free radicals and reduces the signs of aging over time. Vitamin C is the gold-standard antioxidant serum.
Dermatologists tell us that vitamin C reverses a lot of the skin damage we receive from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, as well as pollution. There are anti-aging serums available that contain the following ingredients to treat fine lines, wrinkles and more:
Retinoids: Retinoids stimulate cell turnover to increase collagen production, which decreases wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. It is recommended to use at night.
Peptides: Peptides are composed of amino acids and are the building blocks of collagen and are able to increase its production to smooth lines and boost skin firmness.
Hyaluronic Acid Serums: These types of serums draw moisture into the skin, and combat dryness and dullness, while plumping skin.
Niacinamide: Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that brightens and evens skin tone, increases collagen production, and calms inflammation.
8) Remember the Eye Cream
Eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate eye area, which tends to age faster than the rest of your face. Adding eye cream to your skin-care routine is a good idea, especially if you are concerned about the formation of dark circles or undereye bags, fine lines or wrinkles.
If you are wanting to prevent dark circles, look for niacinamide or vitamin C, and use a formula with caffeine for puffiness, advises Marnie Nussbaum, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
If you want to combat wrinkles and sagging skin, seek out formulas with retinol and peptides. Additionally, vitamin K is ideal to use to combat dark undereye circles and hyaluronic acid with hydration, says Deanne Mraz Robinson, M.D., a dermatologist in Westport, CT and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine.
9) Apply Sunscreen
If you took a poll of dermatologists, they would all agree that sunscreen is just about the most essential step in any skin-care routine. Sunscreen is advised for people with any skin type.
“If you don’t wear sunscreen, you might as well not do any of the other steps,” says Ashley Magovern, M.D., dermatologist and owner and founder of Manhattan Dermatology in Manhattan Beach, California. “The sun is the number one reason skin ages prematurely.”
It is recommended that you apply a nickel-sized dollop or broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher face sunscreen as the final step in your morning skin-care routine. Also put some of this sunscreen on your neck and the backs of your hands, at least a half hour before you go outside. You also have the option of using a daily moisturizer with SPF instead of applying a moisturizer and SPF separately.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and confused with the multitude of competing messages in magazine articles and advertisements when it comes to the perfect skin-care routine. By including these aforementioned essential steps in your daily skin-care regimen, your skin will be healthier, beautiful, and more youthful looking at any age.
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